Last updated : 15 January 2019 By Paddock Pundit

Steven Pressley is now the overwhelming favourite to become Carlisle United's new manager.

Ex-Fleetwood and Coventry boss Pressley today emerged as a likely successor to John Sheridan.

Bookmakers suspended their markets on the identity of United's next boss after Pressley's odds tumbled to 1/10.

United - who earlier today said they hoped the manager search would be resolved "sooner rather than later" - have yet to comment on suggestions the Scot is to be their new boss.

The Blues have recently been weighing up several possibilities from a host of applicants whilst also considering the longer-term credentials of caretakers Tommy Wright and Paul Murray, who have been in charge for the last two games.

At this stage it has not been stated when the Blues expect a decision to be confirmed.

Both Sky Bet and BetVictor today suspended their markets after 45-year-old Pressley's odds fell.

Sources have also told the News & Star that Pressley is firmly in the frame and that United could make an appointment tomorrow.

Wright and Murray have remained in temporary charge as Carlisle began preparations for the visit of Cheltenham this weekend.

On the appointment process, Carlisle today said they were "pushing on with the process with a view to resolving it sooner rather than later".

Former Hearts and Scotland defender Pressley, whose playing career also included spells at Rangers, Coventry, Dundee United, Celtic, Falkirk and Danish club Randers, managed at Falkirk from 2010-13 before taking charge at Coventry from 2013-15.

His spell at the crisis-hit Sky Blues included the difficult and controversial period when they played home games in Northampton.

A nine-month stint at Fleetwood followed in 2015-16, Pressley's signings at the Lancashire club including former Blues loan striker Ashley Nadesan who joined from non-league Horley Town in May 2016.

His squad at the League One club, who he helped steer clear of relegation in 2016, also included current United loan midfielder Jack Sowerby.

After resigning in July 2016 he had a stint managing Cypriot side FC Pafos, also helping them avoid relegation before being sacked in October.

Sources elsewhere, meanwhile, earlier played down the sudden appearance in the betting of former QPR man Marc Bircham.

He was installed as short-odds favourite last night but the 40-year-old coach is not understood to be a serious contender.

Outside sources also played down the prospects of another man to figure prominently in the betting, ex-Blackpool and Birmingham boss Lee Clark.

Director of football David Holdsworth has been playing a key role in the manager recruitment process.

United's holdings board will, though, make the final decision.

Holdsworth and chief executive Nigel Clibbens recently said that the futures of Wright and Murray were safe at the club, and that any new boss would be expected to work with them rather than make "wholesale" backroom staff changes.